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East Moline works to clarify rules on where you can bury a body

EAST MOLINE -- A lot goes into making a gravestone before it ends up in its final resting place. The question the East Moline City Council has is where should that final spot be.

Right now, there is no Illinois law that prohibits people from burying their loved ones in their backyards. And now council wants to change that with a city ordinance.

The red flag was raised after Mayor John Thodos said a neighboring community received an interesting request regarding the practice. City officials did not wish to reveal which town that was.

"The request was to bury actual human remains in their community on something that's not a cemetery," says Thodos. "We didn't have anything. We've never thought about having anything. I mean, who would think of something like this?"

The only state regulation city staff found was if you do bury someone in a place other than a cemetery, you have to bury them at least 18 inches deep, and that's it.

The city is drafting a rule that would fix this.

"That's what our ordinance basically says is that the only place you can bury actual human remains is in an actual cemetery," says Thodos.

The hope is to bury any potentially disturbing problems in the future.

"When you sell your house or whatever, it sure would be nice to know you've got a body buried in your backyard. So this is going to take care of that," says Thodos.